The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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We’ll always have Cincinnati.

The End?

The End?

Before I ever purchased a woodworking tool, I purchased a subscription to a woodworking magazine. I had already purchased some woodworking books, so subscribing to a magazine only seemed like natural progression in the process of learning how to woodwork. Just a few days ago I received my last issue of Popular Woodworking, which conversely was also the first woodworking magazine I ever subscribed. As of this moment, I will no longer receive a woodworking magazine in the mail for the first time in more than five years, and I’m not sure how to take it.

At the beginning of my “journey”, during any given time I usually had at least two subscriptions going, sometimes more. Eventually, I whittled those down to one, that being PW. I have a decent collection of woodworking books, in fact I just ordered another. I’ve also taken several classes and I own several very good videos. The truth is that I’m not sure if I necessarily “need” to subscribe to a magazine. Much of the information I am seeking can be found in the books, videos, and magazines that I already own. That would make subscribing to a magazine redundant, wouldn’t it?

I will admit that I’ve generally gotten a lot of enjoyment from PW over the past five years. The last issue could sum up my feelings towards the magazine in a nutshell: There were things I really enjoyed, some that were okay, and some I didn’t care for at all, but in general I liked it. That hasn’t been the case with some of the other magazines I’ve read.

So for the next few days I’m going to think about keeping my subscription or letting it fade quietly into the night. PW certainly doesn’t need me, and the loss of my subscription won’t hurt them any. One way or the other this is no Earth-shattering decision I’m making, just a minor fork in the road of my woodworking “journey”.

First MSN, now this!

I was originally going to write a post concerning something I read on another woodworking blog about a pencil being “the most important shop tool”, that is until I read just happened to read a tweet from the WoodWhisperer. I just found out that Glen Huey, Chuck Bender, and Robert Lang will soon no longer work for/at Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Those three are the main reason I’ve kept up my subscription in the first place. While I don’t personally know Glen Huey or Robert Lang, I’ve been fortunate enough to take some woodworking classes with Chuck Bender, and I can say that I learned more from him than any other source, be it a class, book, or magazine. I also am a fan of Robert Lang and his love of Arts and Crafts furniture. Though there were some things he wrote that I didn’t always see eye to eye with, I enjoyed nearly every project he built that was featured in the magazine.

While I won’t speculate on why this happened (the last time I did that I was emailed to death by quite a few people), I will say that in my opinion this doesn’t bode well for the future of the magazine. When your entire editorial staff is dismissed-whether or not they quit or were asked to leave I don’t know-I can’t see how it can be spun as a good thing for the publication. I was on the fence about renewing my subscription, so I will wait in see what is in store for the magazine before I make any decisions.

In any event, I sincerely wish all three of those guys the best of luck. I hope that I they don’t disappear from the scene as far as the world of woodworking media is concerned. Wow, maybe woodworking really is dying.

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